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Press Release

Lawrence Elementary Teacher Assistant Indicted for Opioid Distribution

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A 4th grade classroom assistant at a Lawrence public school was indicted today in connection with an undercover operation involving the distribution of kilogram-quantities of cocaine and thousands of oxycodone pills.

Reynaldo Sanchez, 26, of Lawrence, was indicted on attempted possession with intent to distribute oxycodone and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.  In March 2016, Sanchez was arrested and charged in a criminal complaint.

According to court documents, in August 2015, federal agents began investigating Sanchez for his involvement in a narcotics and money laundering organization operating in the Boston area.  During the investigation, Sanchez arranged to purchase from undercover federal agents 10 – 15 kilograms of cocaine for a price of $33,000 per kilogram.  The complaint further alleges that between March 29, 2016, and March 31, 2016, Sanchez sought to purchase what he believed were 11,000 oxycodone pills for $13 per pill from an undercover agent posing as a drug courier.  At the time of his arrest, Sanchez was carrying a duffle bag containing $48,000.  After executing a search warrant at Sanchez’s residence, agents recovered approximately 2.6 kilograms of cocaine. 

The charge of attempted possession with intent to distribute oxycodone provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $1 million.  The charge of possession with intent to distribute cocaine provides for a sentence of no greater than 40 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $5 million. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Matthew J. Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations, Boston Field Office; and Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, made the announcement today.  Assistance was also provided by the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Police and the Lawrence, Franklin, Wareham and Dartmouth Police Departments.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carlos A. López of Ortiz’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit. 

The details contained in the indictment are allegations.  The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in the court of law. 

Updated August 17, 2016

Drug Trafficking